The Inspirational Story Of A Man Who Sacrificed His Personal And Professional Life For Others
May 12th, 2018 / 9:37 PM
He is a black belt martial artist, a yogi, an environmentalist, and a successful entrepreneur. This man gave up everything, to help abandoned, homeless people, live a decent life. Meet Ravi Kalra, founder of Earth Saviours Foundation, who is dedicated to underprivileged people and making every possible effort to protect the environment. He is also known as “no honking man” as he is the first person in India to launch the ‘Do Not Honk’ battle to control noise pollution. He holds the world record for having more than One Lakh commercial vehicles take down their ”Horn Please” and “Blow Horn” signs. His continuous efforts for social good was recently honoured with the prestigious Dr Girish Gandhi National Award for Social Work. In 2012, he was also awarded Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Prestigious Award for Excellence in Humanitarian Services. He did rounds of government and police officers, besides running awareness campaigns, he has cremated more than 4,950 unclaimed and unidentified dead bodies at electric cremation centre.
He spoke to us exclusively about his past, present and future.
What was the trigger that pushed you to leave a lavish life behind and work for abandoned, old and homeless people?
Since my childhood, I would get disturbed watching people roaming without clothes on streets or seeing them eating from garbage yards or living homeless in miserable condition. I would always appeal to God give me sewa instead of money and comforts. It was in the year 2007 God heard my prayers when I saw a poor sick child and a street dog eating together from stinking garbage yard. There and then I left all my comforts and decided to donate my life for the serving underprivileged people.
Where did you start from: what traditions did you grow up with?
In the beginning, it was very difficult as my wife did not like my decision. She left me and took my son and daughter away. Overnight I found myself homeless. My friends and other known people did not come forward to help. Police did not trust me, everyone suspected me. The expenses shooted up overnight and donations were poor. Looking after poor and disabled people is a most difficult task. It is like the battle for death.
What propelled you to keep going?
My only motivation was seeing everyday success on the faces of less privilege. Over the years thousands of them have been united back by their families. Hundreds have received shelter, food, medicines and hoped to live with dignity in our gurukul. Life on the faces of underprivileged people gives me the drive to go on.
What according to you are we not doing to save humanity?
Due to selfishness and negligence, we have given many wounds to our mother earth. The human race has become cruel. We have lost the fear of God. We do not pay back to society. The caring and sharing concept has vanished resulting discomfort and problems are multiplying. It is visible all around us. The humanity is at stake.
What are your goals towards conservation of environment?
The environment is one of our NGO’s primary concern. We are doing our best to control noise pollution caused by unnecessarily honking. We do our best to save trees by educating people not to burn dead bodies by wood. We educate people to use electric cremation system.
Did you have to face any threats during your journey?
During the journey of my selfless service, I have faced countless problems including litigations, midnight fire at gurukul where a lot of people lost their life. Once it was flooded, when the entire gurukul was drawn overnight, and residents had to struggle for their life. More than thousand people have died in gurukul over the eight years. But my staff have always come as helping hands. They are like angels. They have always stood by me during my every hard time.
Anything else you would like to say?
Selfless service makes you fearless and confident. It takes your ego away. It is the fastest way to connect with lord almighty. I still need a lot of support, to help visit http://earthsaviours.in/ I am confident that with your help and support we will make our world a better place to live.
Also published on Medium.
Written by : Ankit Sharma
Edited by : Bharat Nayak